Turkey prices are flying higher this year — here’s how to have an affordable Thanksgiving – CNN

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If you’re feeling ruffled by recent reports that turkey prices are on the rise , don’t panic. There’s no need to start hoarding turkeys.

“We’re not seeing a shortage of supply, ” said Ben Del Coro, vice president of sales and marketing at Fossil Farms , a New Jersey-based purveyor of sustainable and all-natural meats and farm-raised game.

Unlike last holiday season, where provide chain plus labor issues caused ingredient shortages, there should be enough frozen turkeys to go around for Thanksgiving . However , avian flu outbreaks in addition to inflation’s impact on fuel, feed and labor costs have contributed to higher prices for turkeys.

Whole frozen chicken prices possess increased from $1. 15 per pound at this time in 2021 to $1. 47 per pound for the week of October 28-November 3, 2022, according to the US Department of Agriculture . While that’s nearly a 28% increase per pound, “the overall costs are in line with what everyone has been experiencing all year” with food prices and even inflation, De Coro stated. Indeed, costs for all poultry parts have increased across the board, including bone-in fresh together with frozen breasts, drumsticks and additionally ground meat.

In case such prices seem affordably low, they are not the final ones you’ll see within the butcher case. As Delete Coro explained, the USDA weekly pricing report shows wholesale prices for commodity birds — not free-range, organic or any other so-called premium descriptor. Distributors not to mention retailers add markup costs before the egypr gets to your cart.

For those who had planned on cooking the traditional turkey with regard to Thanksgiving, this year might be the time to try something different. “The purchasing trends have got shifted, ” Del Coro said. “For the past two years, people have been eating at home and hosting smaller gatherings, ” while restaurants and also hotels pulled back on serving large Thanksgiving feasts.

With more options returning regarding dining out about Thanksgiving, there’s “increased demand on the same source, ” he said. “Now wholesale is coming back, but retail demand is still there. ” While home cooks will likely be able to find a frozen turkey at the market, the size and price may not be ideal.

If you’re feeling adventurous or considering opting out of serving turkey this season, here are some alternatives for the Thanksgiving holiday menu.

Try a different bird or cut of meat

“I personally understand that Thanksgiving is all about tradition, yet it’s OK to have fun with tradition, ” Sobre Coro said. His Thanksgiving meal often incorporates foods that were more frequently eaten within preindustrial North America.

For example , game meats used to be a common staple of the American diet, this individual said. “Venison was certainly part of the original Thanksgiving meal and is seasonally appropriate, ” with cuts similar to a beef roast or even steaks that can be prepared with seasonal accompaniments.

If you’d like to stick to the poultry theme, Del Conjunto recommends guinea hen, pheasants and ducks as replacement birds, which “are more available and less expensive than turkey, ” he mentioned. Try a whole roasted duck with balsamic glaze intended for crispy, succulent skin, rosemary-brined guinea hen or roast pheasant along with cornbread stuffing.

Or for a more turkey-adjacent experience, Via Coro suggests poussin, a young chicken that weighs about 1 in order to 1½ pounds and is popular in Britain . Each poussin can be stuffed individually, he explained, and “everyone can get their own little mini-roast turkey on their plate. ”

Decolonize your own menu

Since turkey is just one element of the many colonial myths and stereotypes surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, this can be an opportunity to revamp the particular menu to be able to honor Native Americans.

The movement to decolonize Thanksgiving focuses on acknowledging typically the historical racism and violence toward Natives instead of perpetuating the “Pilgrims and Indians” narrative as well as celebrating the continued cultural contributions of these tribes. Creating a decolonized menu can focus on more of the foods traditionally prepared and served by Native Americans.

Help decolonize your menu by serving stuffed butternut squash with chickpeas, cranberries and quinoa.

Some of the ingredients common to what we think of as the “traditional” Thanksgiving food — squash, including pumpkins, corn, wild rice, plus root vegetables such as sweet potatoes in addition to turnips — are also traditional Indigenous ingredients, so the decolonized menu can bring these dishes to the forefront.

You can also add food items frequently prepared by tribes in the region where you’re living. In the Pacific Northwest , that can include salmon and even berries; inside the Southwest, you can try making homemade tamales .

Go plant-based

No, focusing on use of plant dishes to get Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to serve Tofurky.

“I’ve done lots of polls together with my friends together with family” regarding favorite Thanksgiving holiday dishes, claimed Jules Aron, certified holistic nutrition coach and author of “ Nourish and Glow: Naturally Beautifying Foods and additionally Elixirs . ”

Plant-based dishes such as baked carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and zucchini add color to your menu.

More often than not, she noted, people choose a side dish as their top Thanksgiving meals — “and most side dishes are already plant-based. ” This makes Thanksgiving a natural time to include a lot more plant-based dishes at the table when there is already an inclination toward sampling and sharing. And if your favorite side meal recipe isn’t vegetarian, it’s not the end of the world.

“People get scared when thinking about plant-based recipes, ” Aron says, fearing that they will have to make multiple substitutions to a dish or find unusual component replacements. Nevertheless , “if your current side dishes are not already plant-based, usually there’s a very easy tweak you can make, ” such as replacing chicken broth using vegetable broth or using mushrooms in place of bacon.

Aron recommends simple plant-based meals that highlight seasonal veggies for two reasons: Vegetables put color to a menu frequently dominated simply by brown not to mention beige components, and “when you’re buying in season, the prices are lower. ”

A whole roasted cauliflower can make a picturesque plant-based centerpiece dish for Thanksgiving.

One of her favorite Thanksgiving holiday side dishes is rosemary maple-roasted fresh vegetables , which can feature a mix of root greens such as purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots — or perhaps whatever choices your family likes best. “It’s not difficult for you to throw them on a sheet pan and also roast all of them, ” Aron said.

She also suggests showing off with an entire roasted cauliflower as a plant-based centerpiece plate. To bring another pop associated with bright color to the table, “go the extra mile and find a purple one. ” Cauliflower is a blank slate for absorbing flavors, so for Thanksgiving, Aron recommends pairing creamy tahini sauce with seasonal cranberries as well as candied pecans.

Casey Barber is really a food writer, artist and editor of the website Good. Food. Stories .

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